Grading Iowa’s performance against Purdue

Iowa’s special teams once again led the way for a 26-20 Hawkeye win.


Katina Zentz

Iowa kicker Keith Duncan attempts a field goal during the Iowa football game against Purdue at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Boilermakers 26-20.

Pete Ruden, Pregame Editor

Offense — C+

The Hawkeye offense scored two touchdowns against Purdue, which is more than it did in its previous two games combined.

It also scored more points against the Boilermakers (26) than it did in the last two weeks (15).

Throw in the best game of Brandon Smith’s career, in which he hauled in nine passes for 106 yards, and the offensive improvement becomes apparent.

There’s still plenty of need for the unit to increase production, but the win over Purdue was a step in the right direction.

Related: Stanley proves he’s all-in for his team

Defense — B

The Iowa defense set a goal of creating more turnovers earlier last week, and that’s exactly what it did.

Riley Moss picked off a pass and Geno Stone came up with a forced fumble at key times, helping get the ball back in the offense’s hands.

One downside was David Bell’s performance against the Hawkeyes.

The former Iowa recruit torched the secondary for 13 receptions for 197 yards and a touchdown.

Related: Ruden: Big Ten West a different kind of wild

Special teams — A

Iowa’s special teams again came up with a clutch performance that led to a Hawkeye win.

Kicker Keith Duncan nailed four field goals to take the national lead with 17 made kicks. Punter Michael Sleep-Dalton averaged 47.2 yards across his four punts and put two inside Purdue’s 20-yard line and booted one over 50 yards.

The Hawkeyes’ kick and punt returns were average, but they didn’t make any glaring mistakes.

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